NATO starts work on ground surveillance system

A consortium of international companies have won a contract for more than $25.8 million to develop NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance program, NATO said today.

The program will provide situational awareness through a shared, common-ground picture for NATO and national decision-makers.

The consortium, called TIPS Industries, includes the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company N.V., Italy's Galileo Avionica SpA, General Dynamics Canada Ltd., Spain's Indra Sistemas S.A., Northrop Grumman Corp. and France's Thales S.A.

TIPS, which stands for Transatlantic Industrial Proposed Solution, is a cooperative mixed-fleet approach for NATO's Alliance Ground Surveillance. Its solution consists of manned, midsize aircraft, high-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned aerial vehicles and a mobile and transportable ground stations for NATO's Response Force. The solution also includes an electronically scanned array sensor called the transatlantic cooperative AGS radar.

TIPS Industries also will conduct a study for integrating the radar into its mixed fleet. The study will be completed by late 2005 to ensure a smooth transition into the design and development stage

The mixed fleet also will support some of NATO's new mission requirements, including nation building, homeland security and humanitarian relief.

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